By Mirembe Martina
A pastor was arrested for trying to burn Qur’ans.
The pastor from Florida, Terry Jones was arrested on a felony charge after announcing plans to burn nearly 3,000 copies of the Koran on a barbecue grill.
Jones was towing the grill and the kerosene-soaked holy books in the back of his pickup truck to a park in Mulberry, Florida, according to follower Stephanie Sapp, whose husband, Marvin Wayne Sapp Jr., was also arrested. Jone’s group, Stand Up America Now announced plans to set fire on Korans on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the U.S.
The Koran is the most sacred religious text in the Muslim religion. Both Jones and Sapp Jr. were each charged with unlawful conveyance of fuel, a felony, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. In addition, Jones was charged with a misdemeanor of openly carrying a firearm.
Jones had been warned by police detectives who told him that would be arrested if he broke the law in Mulberry. Sapp said the arrest occurred when she and her husband, Jones, and four others when they stopped near the park at a fast food restaurant and as they got back on the road, several unmarked cars pulled them over and Jones and her husband were taken into custody.
Police “informed them that it is illegal to have a grill with kerosene in it in any way behind a vehicle traveling down the highway,” Sapp said. Jones’s group brought 2,998 Korans, one for each of the victims of the September 11 attacks. She said that in burning the holy books, they sought to raise awareness of “the dangers of Islam.”
“We had the Korans inside the grill and we had prepared them by soaking with kerosene, just like you would if you had charcoal on a grill and poured lighter fluid on it,” Sapp said. Jones heads a small evangelical Christian church in Gainsville. He first drew attention to himself in 2010 when he threatened to burn a Koran on September 11 that year.